While reading Lawrence Lessig’s Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 (2006), I was intrigued by this line, which read:
Later, after finishing Lessig’s book, I proceeded to read Joel Bakan’s The Corporation (2004) which also said:
Bakan’s take on corporate social responsibility elucidates Lessig’s limited liability.
In the Report of the APO Top Management Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (2006), APO Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka writing the Foreword states:
Moreover, Takuki Murayama, Director of APO Research & Planning Department, writes:
Accordingly, CSR covers three core issues: legal compliance, ethical practices, and social contributions:
The report also highlighted the UN Global Compact. At the World Economic Forum, Davos, on 31 January 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan challenged world business leaders to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, both in their individual corporate practices and by supporting appropriate public policies, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.
The Global Compact, launched at UN Headquarters in New York on 26 July 2000, was drawn from nine principles based upon international agreements, such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. A tenth principle based on the UN Convention Against Corruption was added during the first Global Compact Leaders Summit, held on 24 June 2004 at UN Headquarters in New York. The Global Compact is a voluntary international corporate citizenship network initiated to support the participation of both the private sector and other social actors to advance responsible corporate citizenship and universal social and environmental principles to meet the challenges of globalization. Unfortunately, Taka (2006: 10) states that the UN Global Compact voluntary participants do not have any specific obligations.
Obligation is synonymous to responsibility. Most constitutions of various nations provide that persons are afforded certain rights and obligations. Persons, in this sense, include both natural and juridical persons. Marvin T. Brown (2006) wrote, corporations are seen as members of civil society, corporate members are seen as citizens, and corporate decisions are guided by civic norms. Thus, if natural persons are asked to uphold their obligations as mandated by their respective constitutions, ever wonder why juridical persons, i.e., corporations, are only asked to voluntarily participate or required limited liability for their responsibility?
Brown, Marvin T. (2009). Corporate Integrity and Public Interest: A Relational Approach to Business Ethics and Leadership, Journal of Business Ethics. (2006) 66. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2006. pp. 11-18. back to text.
Taka, Iwao (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility: Current Context and Future Directions, Report of the APO Top Management Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility. Tokyo: Asian Productivity Organization, May 2006. pp. 7—15. back to text.
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